Ainsworth: Scowen loss was huge

Jesse Kewley-Graham replaced Josh Scowen in last night's starting XI

Jesse Kewley-Graham replaced Josh Scowen in last night's starting XI

First published in Latest Sport This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

WANDERERS boss Gareth Ainsworth said last night's defeat to Plymouth Argyle highlighted how big a role Josh Scowen has in the way we wants his team to play.

The midfielder was sitting out the first match of a two game ban and his absence was keenly felt as Blues lacked the creative drive going forward.

Ainsworth opted to stick with his favoured 4-1-3-2 formation and employ Nick Arnold as the holding player but neither he nor Jesse Kewley-Graham, who was drafted in to replace Scowen, were able to get to grips with the Pilgrims' midfield.

And the Blues boss admitted afterwards just how badly his side's reigning player of the year was missed during the 1-0 loss, which brought their six game unbeaten run to an end.

He said: "The loss of Josh Scowen is huge for us. He has a specific position in the team and he does it really well.

"I wanted to try and stick with the formation that's served us so well. We seem to have done that really well and played some good football. It probably shows important Josh is and how he understands that role.

"It's difficult putting players in different positions and changing them around, but that's football.

"We wanted to try and keep going the way we were. It didn't work tonight, we didn't get attacking as well as we thought.

"The squad will have to come into it, although we've got a slim squad at the moment. Maybe a formation or personnel change for Saturday [is needed] because we've got a huge game on Tuesday with our game in hand against Cheltenham. We'll have players like Josh returning for that - people who can come in and give us energy and a boost.

"We'll have to have a think about what we are going to do at York. If we need to freshen it up, we will."

Asked about Kewley-Graham's influence on the game, Ainsworth said: "I thought he did OK. He's not playing week in, week out and looked slightly rusty. His passing went astray but there were a lot of others out there who weren't playing to the full standard they've set."

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